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Fretwork panel, one of a pair, Purcell-Cutts House Fretwork panel, one of a pair, Purcell-Cutts House

George Grant Elmslie


16 3/16 x 35 x 1 3/8 in. (41.12 x 88.9 x 3.49 cm)

Bequest of Anson Cutts

Accession #: 2005.122.2

The subtle exterior decoration of the Purcell-Cutts house includes a stenciled frieze below the roofline and two sawed-wood panels at the entrance. This cypress panel and its identical mate adorned the projecting beam-end near the front door. In 2005, to preserve them from the elements, they were removed to the MIA. The reproductions now installed at the house were painstakingly made—by means of laser technology instead of a fretsaw—following Elmslie’s original design (also shown here). The vine-and-leaf motifs are a foil for the strongly geometric exterior of the house. The motto “Gray Days and Gold,” in the lower right corner, has been variously interpreted as referring to Purcell’s beloved grandparents William and Catherine Gray, to the colors of the firm’s progressive architecture, and to funds provided by Purcell’s father in support of the architectural practice and construction of the house.
object 10 of 116

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